Puns, The highest level of language development

I want to send out positivity to the world. My father sent these to me in an email and they made me chuckle. I hope they do the same for you.

Here are the top 10 winners in the International Pun Contest.

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The Stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly, it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it, too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. But why they asked, as they moved off. ‘Because,’ he said, ‘I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.’

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Ahmal. The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him Juan. Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, ‘They’re twins ! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.’

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to ‘persuade’ them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is SO BAD . . . ) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And, finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Frustration With Bureaucracy

department of redundancy

I received a letter from the DMV a week ago stating that my license was suspended in the state of Vermont. I then embarked on a journey of discovery in idiocy.

I have called the DMV in Vermont and in California. Additionally I was referred to something called the Driver Improvement department in Vermont as well as the Judicial Bureau. They don’t seem to know any information about what others are doing in the bureaucracy (although they were able to give me their phone numbers).

I was able to determine that 18 years ago, there were 10 citations issued and they were with my driver’s license information attached. Yes, I did type that it was EIGHTEEN years ago and that there are TEN citations. They were driving without a license and expired registration (meaning the officer never actually confirmed who the person was). Additionally, these occurred over the course of 6 months and my license was suspended in Vermont at that time (though they never arrested the person).

I never received any information about this until a week ago and continued to renew my license, get full FBI background checks and other high security checks over the years for my service in the Peace Corps and multiple school districts working with and transporting children.

I then was advised by a lawyer that I should ask the California DMV for a hearing and get a stay (so I can keep my license in compliance) until the hearing happens. I got shuffled around several departments in California including the Driver Safety Office and something called the PPPS (never did really find out what the acronym stands for) but they apparently CAN’T HELP ME EITHER. They just get records electronically from Vermont that say my license is suspended and they can’t do anything about it.

It seems that there are whole departments, with hundreds of people who get paid from our tax dollars who do ONE thing and it is never actually the thing YOU are calling for.

So I am redirected back to the office of Driver Improvement in Vermont because California refuses to do anything, even though they are the ones who are taking inaction on my renewal (although they have already cashed my renewal check) and they tell me to call each individual Police department where the tickets were issued from. I called the two departments and find out there are no longer any physical tickets and all they have are entries in the computer that don’t say much about what happened (this is before the computer system was invented, let alone in place). I then have to call this Judicial Bureau in Vermont to get them to give me a hearing to remove the tickets. (This is the third time calling the same office who did not tell me this information).

When I finally spoke to someone who was partially helpful, she tells me that there is a $35 non-refundable fee FOR EACH citation. I will be requesting that to be waived, believe me. In the meantime, I really am not sure what the next step will be and I am concerned that my license is going to expire and that I will have to pay reinstatement fees because it wasn’t done right.

In the pursuit of trying to do this right the first time, I contacted a lawyer to see if it could be taken off my mental plate. When I first spoke to him, he made it sound like it was a matter of filing a few papers and all would be easy-cheesy. When I spoke to him again to confirm what was happening, he quoted me a retainer fee of $500! I couldn’t believe it. That seemed a bit excessive considering the situation. I thought that if it was just about filing some motions and making some phone calls, that I could take care of it….Now I am reconsidering.

I have also, in the course of my research found that when the Driver Safety Office of the CA DMV does a hearing, the person who acts as judge is employed by the DMV (not a neutral agency). This person is also the prosecutor in the case as well as being the recipient of funds should the defendant be found guilty. Seems like a bit of a conflict of interest, no? The U.S. may be a democracy, but apparently draconian/communism rules our DMV.

How is it that citizens who have a clean record for over 20 years with no problems can suddenly be punished for something they did not do that occured two decades ago and that they were never notified of? The injustice here is overwhelming, yet my experience with our justice system along with the bureacracy of the DMV leads me to have a bleak outlook.

WiFi on Public Transportation

Several Airlines have started providing Wifi on their flights for passengers, including American and Delta. The price is $12.95. I had heard about this a few weeks ago and am glad to see them moving forward with a plan that will allow people to be more productive on those long flights. There is a good article stating Five Reasons Why it Will Take Off. I wonder if you pay for the service if they will still make you turn off all your devices during take-off and landing? is that time prorated?

I am taking the Amtrak tomorrow (really later today) to go to San Jose for a conference on internet video, gaming and other technical aspects of my job. NVision. I was hoping there would be Wifi on the train as well. It IS the Capitol Corridor. This is the Bay Area for gosh sakes, we can’t even go get out double lattes without needing to check email and twitter!

Alas, the project to provide Wifi on the train won’t be completed until 2009. I guess I’ll have to resort to the 3G network instead. Drat.

FCC Gives Green Light To Google's Android Phone

When I was at the Linux conference two weeks ago, there were several organizations presenting open source mobile options. If Google, Motorola and HTC end up releasing and getting a positive response from the consumer market we are likely to see a flood of competing mobile options.

As much as I have enjoyed the iPhone applications that have been released from 3rd parties, there have been additional firmware issues (like the whole iPod shutting down and erasing last week). The $200 per month fee to run an iPhone on the AT&T network is also a hindrance and one would think that the price points would come down with more competition on th 3G network and the touch screen innovation.

By Marin Perez
InformationWeek
August 19, 2008 03:01 PM

android logo

The HTC Dream will run Google’s operating system as well as sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G capabilities over T-Mobile’s networks.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG)’s Android operating system is one step closer to commercial availability as the first Android-powered handset has been given the green light by the Federal Communications Commission.

The handset is being made by High Tech Computer, and the documentation confirms that the device is being called the “Dream.” Keeping in line with recent reports, the handset will support T-Mobile’s 3G network.

In the documentation, there’s mention of a “jog ball,” which many expect to be similar to the trackball found on Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) devices like the BlackBerry Bold. The documents also reveal the device will have 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth capabilities.

The FCC documentation does not include pictures of the device, but it is expected to sport a large touch screen that will slide out to reveal a five-row QWERTY keyboard. While the device probably will have features like mobile e-mail, Web browsing, and calendaring, it may not have robust business features as Google is aiming the mobile platform at the broader consumer market.

Representatives from Android, HTC and T-Mobile are sticking to the previously announced fourth quarter 2008 time frame but reports suggest that the handset could hit the market as soon as October.

After months of speculation that Google was working on a mobile handset, the search giant announced last November it would develop a Linux-based operating system with the goal of creating an open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. An industry consortium known as the Open Handset Alliance was formed to advance this goal as well, and it includes members like Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Intel (NSDQ: INTC), Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), and more.

The move will also allow Google to expand its lucrative digital advertising business into the mobile market. But the search company may be facing some stiff competition as users and developers may be drawn to the existing players like Windows Mobile, Apple, RIM, and Symbian.

The original article can be found at:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/google/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210101836